BANDIT by Gavin Maxwell


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Michael Stern did a short (at the time news-breaking) magazine piece on Salvatore Giuliano, which later appeared in his No Innocence Abroad (Random House). Whether Giuliano is worth more than this is open to question, but in any case Gavin Maxwell, an English Journalist, has gone to considerable trouble to sort out much of the apocrypha attached to the name which is already a local legend- and to fill in some of the unknown facts of his story. A resurgent as well as an outlaw, young, savage, idealistic, romantic, Giuliano was to inspire as much worship as fear during his lifetime, and his death was to perpetuate the myth of a lost leader. Identified with and backed by both the Mafia and the Separatists (who wanted independence from Italy for Sicily) Giuliano led a growing; band of admirers and adherents after his first crime, the shooting of a carabiniere following the pilfering of two sacks of corn. Many other carabiniere were to die-still more were to be gulled and fooled in his years of ruthless raids and ambushes, offset by his many kindnesses to children and the poor. Finally betrayed and killed after the long pursuit by Colonel Luca, his death too left much in doubt; two admitted-falsely- to the crime; one was sentenced and died- of strychnine-in prison.... A reckless, lawless figure- much of his flashing fascination endures here. Maxwell has not subdued it.

Publisher: Harper